This year, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston commemorates its 2020 Bicentennial with a year full of celebrations. Though 2020 hasn’t panned out to be the year we had hoped for, the diocese continues to find ways to celebrate. One way they are commemorating this milestone is by partnering with Beacon Design. Together they created a unique commemorative keepsake as a token of remembrance for this remarkable anniversary year. Patricia Stiepel, a member of the Bicentennial planning subcommittee, shares more about their history and Bicentennial celebrations.
The Diocese of Charleston
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston was established on July 11, 1820, by His Holiness Pope Pius VII. They are the seventh oldest Roman Catholic district in the United States. In addition, they encompass 32,020 square miles of South Carolina. Throughout the state, there are seven deaneries divided into geographical regions with a total of 118 parishes.
In an effort to continue to strengthen the parish communities and ensure the formation of the Catholic family, their Bicentennial Campaign was created to support these priorities into the future. To demonstrate their support, a Bicentennial banner is hanging in all of the diocesan parishes throughout the state. In fact, their custom design of the keepsake ornament was based on their Bicentennial banner and logo.
A Commemorative Keepsake
This is the first year the Diocese has partnered with Beacon Design. St. Mary, Help of Christians in Aiken, SC created an ornament with Beacon after the construction of their new church in 2015. With that in mind, the subcommittee felt this could be a great way to raise additional funds and commemorate their 200th anniversary.
As mentioned, the keepsake design was based on the Bicentennial banner and logo. Additionally, what makes the keepsake so unique are the images of the seven deanery churches surrounding the logo. Finished in gold plating and digitally printed with vibrant colors, their keepsake is a one-of-a-kind commemorative must-have.
As a finishing touch, Patrica created this custom card to be placed in each box describing the meaning behind their ornament design. Highlighted at the bottom the card reads, “Made in the USA – Founded in 1976 by a U.S. Veteran.” Patricia mentions the significance and value this detail has added for those who have purchased their keepsake thus far.
In planning for the Bicentennial, the intention was to sell their new keepsake at the many celebratory events that had been scheduled throughout the year. Likewise, parishes are encouraged to purchase larger quantities to sell or give as gifts to their parishioners to commemorate Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Weddings, Graduations, and other events during this Bicentennial year.
Unfortunately, this year’s worldwide health pandemic has changed all of our ability to congregate in the way we are used to. However, Patricia recently shared that while they had to cancel their large June event, they were able to safely adapt to the new social distancing restrictions and hold their Bicentennial Vigil Mass on Saturday, July 11th to celebrate the 1820 founding date of the Diocese of Charleston. Furthermore, she happily reported that they had a joyous event all considering and sold their commemorative keepsakes too!
Remaining optimistic, Patricia continues to plan a December closing event to be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, the See of the Diocese of Charleston, and one of their seven deanery churches.
To view upcoming events for the Diocese of Charleston, click here.